USC team won its 3rd straight game. The Trojans clamped down defensively on one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, holding the Cal Golden Bears to just 2-16 (12.5%) from beyond the arc. With the win, the Trojans improved their record to (15-6) overall and (6-3) in the Pac-10 moved into sole possession of third place. The Trojans are just one game behind conference leaders Washington and fucla, but have a chance to even the score by beating the bRuins at pauley pavilion this Wednesday.
More after the jump!
Freshman Demar Derozan led the way for the Trojans with 19 points, but he deserves praise for his outstanding defensive play. Marcus Johnson, who finished with 6 points, set the tone early with yet another thunderous dunk. The senior transfer from UConn took a fastbreak pass from Daniel Hackett and then skied over Cal defender Jorge Gutierrez, who would hear it from the student section the rest of the night, and electrified the crowd with the amazing dunk. Despite Derozan's team-high 19 points, the Trojans featured a balanced scoring attack offensively. Hackett had another solid game at the point with 14 points, big man Taj Gibson posted his 11th double-double this season with 12 points and 13 rebounds, and junior guard Dwight Lewis added 12 points. You can watch the highlights from Fox Sports here.
The Trojans appear to be hitting their stride as we turn the basketball calendar to February. The team is getting healthy, and as a result, their play has been steadily improving. This month is crucial for the Trojans' post-season aspirations. Five of the next seven games are on the road, beginning with fucla this Wednesday. The Trojans know they can play with the bRuins after winning at pauley last season and losing a close one 64-60 at Galen Center on January 11. We'll have a preview of the game by Tuesday night.
Fight On! Beat the Bruins!